Stage directions


Performance of Urban Programming 101: Stage directions at Temporary Space Seoul, as well as Nam June Paik Art Center (as part of ‘Random Access’ Exhibition in March 13,2010)
The scripts can be found in my book  ‘Stage directions’.

This is a segment from my book ‘Urban programming 101: Stage directions’.


Phantom of a dichotomy
People like to think of a matter in dichotomy; in black and white, red and blue, right and wrong, existence and non existence, and so on. That matter is an idea, opinion, aesthetics, society, and anything. The division transforms a complicated matter into a simple equation of true and false. And they are always on the truth side, and the enemy is false.


Aesthetics of negotiation.
Under the conditions of dichotomy, only the aesthetics of negotiation remains important. People in conflict are not interested in over throwing the boundary or creating a new one. Everyone is interested in the benefits of challenging the boundary. Therefore, only the boundary remains as the important factor.


Fantasy of a collective will.
When people gather into a group, they form a community. The collective holds a potential to a substantial power that can make changes in the world. However, the collective is a collection of an individual after all. I begin to grow doubts in the collective will. It is an assemblage of each individual’s own will. It is a dissipation of selfish desires.


Sometimes, I feel that resistance is futile. It is a social masturbation. Guide book for political activist is much similar to a book on self-help after a breaking up in a relationship. Of course, the chapters sound radically different, but the contents are rather indifferent. Being political is much like being religious. One’s faith is the driving force of the belief, and yet it is the only substantial return in the end. Resistance is futile, in a sense it does not resist the core of the problem. Resistance is valuable, in a sense that it contributes to sustaining the phantom of a dichotomy.


Theatrics is the key to the aesthetics of negotiation. Staged situations, scripted languages, and learned body languages. These are the rules of a negotiation. It is a theatre, because it’s based on lies. It is also the closest thing to the truth, because the truth can be simulated and experimented in the theater.